BJP to adopt positive campaign strategy

BJP to adopt positive campaign strategy

Taking cue from the Bihar rout, the BJP has decided to adopt a “positive strategy” for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll campaign.

The BJP’s strategy to stick to the development agenda also stems from the realisation that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s own image has not been effectively corroded in the state.

In Bihar, the BJP’s anti-Nitish Kumar rhetoric had boomeranged as the people still had a good impression about the chief minister, feel some BJP leaders.

Owing to this realisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lucknow rally address on Monday was less harsh on rivals — the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress.

Referring to the SP, Modi told the crowd that there is a party which is “using all its strength to focus on the family’s fate”. On the BSP, Modi said another party’s “worry is where to keep money and it is looking for banks far and wide”. And for the Congress, the prime minister sarcastically remarked that the party is “nowhere in the picture” and is “trying in vain for the last 15 years to establish the son (Rahul Gandhi)”.

A top BJP leader said the party will promise the voters that if brought to power, they will complete the “remaining development” programmes promised by the last BJP government in the state. Modi’s appeal to the people of Uttar Pradesh during Lucknow address to rise above caste and vote for development of the state articulated the party’s electoral thinking, said a source in the BJP.

But, at the same time, the BJP believes that it will benefit from the Yadav clan infighting and can corner the ruling party on law and order, and land grab  issues.

The BJP also feels that demonetisation will not harm them politically as the pain people are suffering is for gains in the future and not because the Modi government intentionally wants them to undergo.

Asserting that the Uttar Pradesh polls will be the BJP versus the rest, the party’s top leadership claimed that of the total 403 Assembly seats, it  will be in direct contest with either the SP or the BSP in 350 constituencies, and the two regional parties will be pitched against each other in the remaining segments.

This marks a shift in the BJP’s strategy as it has all along argued that the battle would be with the SP only. The BJP will get into campaign mode after the party’s two-day national executive meeting ends in New Delhi on Saturday. The Election Commission is expected to announce the poll schedule soon. But the BJP will wait for the SP’s internal dispute to end to announce its candidate list.

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